Leon Voters To Decide Who Gets Soil And Water District Spots

Oct 20, 2014

The gubernatorial and congressional races are headlining this November’s election, but voters will also be asked to decide a few down-ticket races, like who will serve on the Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District board.

One candidate wants to push local government to take action on cleaning up Wakulla Springs.
Credit wfsu ecology blog

Leon County’s Soil and Water Conservation District has five elected volunteer supervisors.

Created in 1937 as part of the New Deal, Soil and Water Conservation Districts originally represented small-scale farms by reporting soil and water needs to the government. Today, the groups primarily act as environmental advocates and educators.

Current Leon County board member Tabitha Frazier says the group gets no money from the government, which speaks to the dedication those seeking the job have.

“It really requires people that are self-motivated, that really care, and want to do stuff on their own,” Frazier says.

The district raises funds entirely through grants. That money goes toward educational endeavors like a student poster contest on crop pollination or the group’s annual enviro-thon, a high-school competition where students brainstorm solutions to environmental issues.

But some candidates in the race, like Ryan Truchelet, hope to reestablish an advisory relationship between the district and local government.

“You know, it’s a board where citizens can become involved in local government and advise the city and County Commission on a number of local and environmental issues," Truchelet says. "And I think it’s important that it serves as an environmental conscience for the city and County Commission.”

Truchelet’s rival for the district’s fourth seat is Brian Lee, director of research and policy at ReThink Energy Florida.

Incumbent board member Stan Peacock is running for reelection in seat two against rival William Helmich.

Here's a short bio of each of the candidates for seat 4:

Ryan Truchelut

  • Education:  M.S. Florida State University in Meteorology 2011, B.S. Princeton University in Geo-Science 2008, Current Ph.D student at FSU in Meteorology
  • Occupations: Agricultural Meteorologist with International Agribusiness Group 2005-present, Graduate Assistant at Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science at FSU 2009-present
  • Link to speech on WFSU's "Bandwagon"

Brian Lee

  • Education: B.A. Florida State University in Political Science 2008, A.A. TCC 2006
  • Occupations: Director of research and Policy at ReThink Enerygy Florida, Tallahassee Progressive Grassroots Consulting 2010-present
  • Link to speech on WFSU's "Bandwagon"

Here's a short bio for each of the candidates for seat 2:

Stan Peacock

  • Education: Doctorate from Southern College of Optometry B.S. Florida State University in Biology, A.A. TCC
  • Occupations: Optometrist at The Hour Glass 1984-present, Elected Leon Soil and Water Conservation in District 2, 2010-2014
  • Link to speech on WFSU's "Bandwagon"

William Helmich

  • Education: B.A. Norwich University in Military History
  • Occupations: Helmich Consulting Inc.